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TESTED & RATED! Tesco/Bute Island's NEW vegan cheese range

Posted by Candice BLOGGER on April 20, 2017 at 5:40 AM

Cheese. Everyone loves it. And it seems that everyone I talk to claims that they couldn’t go vegan because they’d miss it – Not burgers or steak or even bacon. They’d miss CHEESE the most.

The availability, quality and choice of vegan cheese has got better over the past year but still people haven’t been wholly convinced to make the full swap.

So, as if they had heard our cries, supermarket giant’s Tesco announced a BRAND NEW vegan cheese range in collaboration with TeenVGN official partner’s AND Sheese legend’s Bute Island Foods! Hallelujah!

I scoured my local branches, found all nine (yes, NINE!) and decided to use them over a week to see what lovely meals they would make. Here’s what happened and how I rated them!

Meal: Mexican veggie tacos

Cheese: Jalapeño & Chilli Cheddar

As soon as I bought the jalapeño & chilli cheddar I thought of tacos. So I topped some taco shells with a mixture of peppers and onions with plenty of the cheddar and melted it under the grill. And it was amazing! If you like your cheese fiery, this is the one for you. Plus it came out really gooey, which is just what I wanted. It’s also really nice uncooked as it has a lovely crumbly texture which a lot of vegan cheeses fail at. My favourite of the bunch, at the moment! 10/10

Meal: Vegetable lasagne

Cheese: Mature Cheddar and Grated Italian Style Hard Cheese (Parmesan)

One of my favourite cheesy meals is lasagne and with this I went for two cheeses – The cheddar for the creamy béchamel filling and the grated Parmesan for a nice crisp topping. So I layered the veggies, béchamel, tomato sauce, pasta sheets and topped it with the grated cheese. It came out really well especially with the cheddar in the sauce, which thickened it up and added a creamy texture. The flavour wasn’t quite as big as the Red Leicester or the Jalapeño & Chilli, but the texture scored top marks. 8/10

Meal: Cheeseburgers in brioche buns

Cheese: Red Leicester Slices

I cheated a bit with this one as I basically copied the picture on the packet and made burgers! But I was excited to find vegan brioche-style buns in Waitrose to go with them by Just: Gluten Free Bakery (Google them!) So I cooked a vegan veggie burger, topped it with a Red Leicester slice, popped it under the grill and waited for the melt…Mmmm. The result was lovely as the cheese melted well and I liked how strong the flavour was. Impressive! 9/10

Meal: Stuffed Portobello mushrooms

Cheese: Blue Cheese

I used to love it when my mum baked huge cheesy stuffed mushrooms so I thought the blue cheese would work really well melted on top with some onion, garlic and herbs. And I’m pleased to say it worked a treat! The smell and taste was exactly how I remembered blue cheese and had a lovely melt. 9/10

Meal: Ploughman’s lunch

Cheese: Smoked Cheese and Wensleydale with Cranberries

There’s nothing quite like a plate of cheese, bread and pickles is there? Since Christmas I haven’t treated myself to it. So I used the smoked cheese and creamy Wensleydale with all of the usual accompaniments! I also added some VBites Cheatin’ pepperoni style slices and it was heavenly. The smoked cheese is lovely and smoky which leaves a creamy texture in your mouth and the Wensleydale was also smooth and I loved the sweet flavour with the cranberries. 9/10

Meal: Picnic wraps

Cheese: Soft Cheese

I was heading out with friends and their children to a park to make the most of the sunshine. So I thought it was a great opportunity to use the soft cheese spread with some cucumber for wholemeal picnic wraps! Simple, but usually a winner, especially with kids. The result was good but not quite the same whipped-like texture as say Philadelphia cream cheese. So the taste was nice but there’s still a little work to do on the texture front! 7/10

Meal: Loaded homemade pizzas

Cheese: Grated Mozzarella (and a little Jalapeño & Chilli Cheddar!)

I’d recently bought a pack of Biona Organic wheat vegan pizza bases and so I loaded them up with Napolina pizza topping (I know, it was a lazy day ok!) tomatoes, sweetcorn, peppers, mushrooms, plenty of the grated mozzarella AND a little Jalapeño & Chilli cheddar for extra zing. I was very happy with the melt of the cheese and flavour combo. Delizioso! 9/10

So there you have it. Overall I was hugely impressed with the new cheeses and how much work has gone into making them taste, feel and work in dishes. Maybe a halloumi now please guysssss??? ;)

Visit your local Tesco and try them for yourself and let us know what you think!

The lovely Lucy from TeenVGN also made a video review with her first impressions of the new range (incl. an amazing macaroni cheese recipe!), which you can see here:

Cheese and love. Until next time!

Here’s the full list of the new range:

Blue Cheese

Jalapeño & Chilli Cheddar

Mature Cheddar

Smoked Cheese

Wensleydale with Cranberries

Red Leicester Slices

Grated Mozzarella

Grated Italian Style Hard Cheese (Parmesan)

Soft Cheese

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